Making Bean Flour and Cooking with Old Beans

Earlier today, I received the following question on beans, it was in a comment on a post about bean flours.  I think it may be of interest to many of you. The question is “Can you use pinto bean flour for the biscuits? Someone gave me a large amount of pinto beans. Very old and hard. Didn’t want to throw them out.  This would be a good way to use them”.

There are a couple of parts to this answer.  The first question is do you have a mill that will grind them.  It takes a pretty good mill if they are very hard.

If you have the mill, pinto bean flour can be used in several ways.  You can use it as a flour or to make refried beans.  I have never tried it in the biscuit recipe, but I think it will work.  To make refried beans use the following recipe.

Bring water to a boil and stir in bean flour.  Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring.

This recipe can be used in place of canned refried beans that you come from the store.

Pinto bean flour can be used to replace up 25% of wheat flour in any recipe.  Be warned it may change the taste. 1 pound of dried beans = 2 cups dried beans = 6 cups of cooked beans.

The second part of the answer involves softening old beans. If you are attempting to cook old beans of any type, you can try the following method to help soften old beans and speed up their cooking.  First, sort and rinse the beans.  Bring three cups of water to boil for each cup of beans.  Add the beans to the boiling water and bring to a rolling boil for two minutes.  Take the beans off the stove.  Next, add 3/8 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for each cup of beans, cover and soak for 1 hour or more.  Extra baking soda may be required for older beans.  Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly.  Cover the beans with water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 1-2 hours or until tender.  Do not add salt or other ingredients until the beans have softened adequately

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  • Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup thoroughly mashed or liquefied cooked pinto beans
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup gluten flour
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups unbleached white flour
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt

Mix yeast in 2 cups warm, not hot water.  Add honey and 1-cup white and 2 cups whole-wheat flour and mix.

Cover and let set in a warm place until light and spongy.  Beat in remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon except for 1-cup white flour.  Knead in the last cup of flour on a floured breadboard.  Continue to knead for seven minutes.  Allow to rise until it has doubled in size.  Shape into the size loaf desired.  Set on board and cover with towel for 10 minutes. Place your loafs in greased pans, cover them and let them rise until the bread does not spring back when pressed with finger.  Place in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat. Bake at 350 degrees until nicely browned.

Good luck with cooking old beans.  Let us know how this works for you.


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7 thoughts on “Making Bean Flour and Cooking with Old Beans”

  1. The easy, quick, & fuel efficient way to cook dry beans (and lentils, split peas, and rice) is in a pressure cooker.

    I soak my beans over night at room temperature, rinse them, place them in a pressure cooker, and cover them with water. Allow about 1/2 inch of water over the beans. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the water to minimize frothing. Place lid on cooker and set cooker on your stove. Set the heat to high. When stream begins to escape from the cooker turn the heat down to medium low and set the pressure cap on the steam vent. I use the 15psi cap. My beans are cooked after 8 minutes even though I have a slightly reduced cooking pressure because of my altitude. Turn heat off at 8 minutes and let ’em set until depressurized. remove pressure cap and lid and enjoy.

    Now, if you are cooking over a wood fueled campfire or some large gas fired camp stoves you need to take special precautions if you are using a pressure cooker. With these it is possible to over-pressurize your pressure cooker. I’m not prepared to address that topic here and now. But, rest assured that it can be safely done.


  2. just wanted to comment on your usages of Bean flour. i am living here in West Africa and we have several other ways you can use bean flour. one is a steamed bean paste. Take bean flour and mix with enough water to make a thin batter (you can add a pinch of salt if you want, here they don’t), then pour into metal cans or whatever and steam in a big pot with a steamer in it or with forks and spoons layed out on the bottom or canning rings. put in a few inches of water and then stack in your cans. close the lid well and boil water until the batter has become firm. (keep an eye on the water that it doesn’t run out) take out and run a knife around the edges and pop out of the cans. here it is sliced and eaten hot with Oil, red hot pepper, salt and raw onions. (it is good also once it has cooled, to slice and fry. Good in sandwiches also.)
    Another way to use bean flour is what we call Bean balls. take bean flour and mix in enough water to make a flour that just makes peaks (you can add a bit of salt and some onions or whatever other seasoning you want), whip in air which is what will make it a bit light, heat oil in a fryer and when it is hot enough to make a sample rise to the top, it is ready. drop the batter into the hot oil by small spoonfuls until it is one layer full, turn them over when they get brownish. done when both sides are brown. remove. eaten here with fresh ground habenaro red hot pepper, salt, and ground onion.
    Bon Appetit!

  3. I am sorry but I don’t have a bean flour recipe that does not use some wheat or gluten. Possible one of our readers does. If you do forward it to me or post it in the comments and I will see that Joyce gets it. In the mean time I will do a bit of research on this.

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